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Free Agent Day 2 Live Blog

Saturday, 07.02.2011 / 7:40 PM / NHL Free Agency 2011

By Dan Rosen and Corey Masisak - NHL.com Staff Writers

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Free Agent Day 2 Live Blog
NHL.com's Dan Rosen and Corey Masisak cover all the signings and news on Day 2 of free agency.
So who's left?
7.2.11 10:25 pm ET

After 70 or so signings in the first 36 hours of free agency, it looks like the 30 teams have put their checkbooks away for the weekend.

Florida was probably the most active team -- the Panthers needed to spend just to get to the cap floor, and they did, bringing in almost half a team (ex-Capital Matt Bradley signed on Saturday). How much better will the 'Cats be?

Washington completed some serious roster tweaking (for a contender) by signing goaltender Tomas Vokoun on Saturday for the bargain price of $1.5 million for one year. Think of it this way: The Caps traded Semyon Varlamov, who they might not have been able to keep anyway, for Colorado's first-rounder and a second-rounder -- then got Vokoun after already adding good support players like Jeff Halpern, Joel Ward and Roman Hamrlik. Happy Birthday, George McPhee (who turned 53 on Saturday).

The Rangers got the big name -- Brad Richards agreed to a nine-year, $60 million deal on Saturday. Los Angeles (Simon Gagne) and Toronto (Tim Connolly) wasted no time going to Plan B.

Despite what you may think, there's still a lot of players out there looking for job. For a look at the best of who's left, click here.

Quiet time
7.2.11 9:00 pm ET

Looks like the holiday weekend has finally taken hold, meaning that the barrage of signings may be done for a bit.

Blues add Kent Huskins; Ducks ink Andrew Gordon
7.2.11 7:50 pm ET

St. Louis has been one of the quietest teams so far -- the Blues' lone move had been re-signing RFA T.J. Oshie before free agency began on Friday. They made another move Saturday evening by signing depth defenseman Kent Huskins to a one-year deal. Huskins was 2-8-10 in 50 games with San Jose. He does have a Stanley Cup ring as a menber of the 2007 Ducks.

And speaking of Anaheim, which has also been pretty quiet -- the Ducks inked Andrew Gordon, a 25-year-old minor-league scoring star who had 86 goals in the last three seasons with AHL Hershey, to a two-year deal. He's also played 12 NHL games but was blocked in Washington.

Oilers ink Nugent-Hopkins
7.2.11 7:40 pm ET

That didn't take long. Just eight days after the Edmonton Oilers made Ryan Nugent-Hopkins the No. 1 pick in the Entry Draft, the two sides came to terms on a three-year, entry-level deal. He'll make his official Oilers debut on Monday at the team's development camp, where we'll begin to get an idea whether he's ready for the NHL this fall.

--John Kreiser

Vokoun goes to Caps
7.2.11 6:20 pm ET

No sooner does it look like Tomas Vokoun might have to scramble for a home than he finds one -- in Washington, no less. TSN and ESPN say he's signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal to provide a veteran presence in goal for the Caps, who appeared to be ready to go into next season with youngsters Michal Neuvirth and Braden Holtby. Instead, they'll have Vokoun as their No. 1 guy -- and perhaps a mentor for Neuvirth, a fellow Czech. After five years of no playoffs in Florida, you'd have to think that Vokoun will be ecstatic to be playing with one of the NHL's elite teams; Washington has finished atop the East in back-to-back years.

--John Kreiser


Running out of options
7.2.11 6:00 pm ET

There are 60 NHL goaltending jobs -- and a lot more than 60 players capable of filling them. That's why the start of free agency is like a game of musical chairs. It seems like every year, someone is left out when the music stops -- Martin Biron in 2009, Jose Theodore last year. This year's candidate is Tomas Vokoun, who has seen most of his options (and almost certainly any big-money ones) dry up. Take a look at Vokoun's predicament in Corey Masisak's fine analysis here.

--John Kreiser

Wings snap up Ian White
7.2.11 5:01 pm ET

Detroit got a good look at Ian White against San Jose in the playoffs, and the Wings must have liked what they saw. They came to terms with the veteran defenseman on a two-year deal. He figures to replace Brian Rafalski, who opted to retire after this past season. White, 27, can move the puck and should be a good fit in the Wings' system.

In a sign of the times, the Wings announced the contract not via a news release but on Facebook and Twitter.

--John Kreiser

Bolduc to Coyotes; Petitot to Bolts
7.2.11 4:55 pm ET

With more of the bigger names coming off the board, some teams are going bargain-hunting.

Phoenix, which has had success shopping at the lower end of the market, took a flyer on center Alexandre Bolduc, who split the season between Vancouver and AHL Manitoba. Tampa Bay added depth defenseman Richard Petitot, who spend the season with Edmonton's AHL team in Oklahoma City and has 15 games of NHL experience with three teams including the Bolts. Also, Chris Bourque, son of Hall of Famer Ray Bourque, returned to Washington after a year in Europe. He figures to be one of the leaders of the Caps' AHL team in Hershey -- he was the MVP of the 2010 Calder Cup Playoffs for the champion Bears.

--John Kreiser

Simon Gagne headed to Kings
7.2.11 3:55 pm ET

The Los Angeles Kings didn't waste any time after not getting Brad Richards. They say they've agreed to terms with Simon Gagne on a two-year contract -- Kings Insider on the team's website says it's a $7 million package -- $4.5 million in 2011-12 and $2.5 million the following season for a $3.5 million cap hit. Gagne had back-to-back seasons of 17 goals and 40 points with Philadelphia in 2009-10 and Tampa Bay in '10-11 while missing a combined total of 43 games with injuries. Gagne, 31, had back-to-back 40-goal seasons with the Flyers earlier in his career and scored 34 goals as recently as 2008-09.

--John Kreiser

Connolly a Leaf
7.2.11 3:25 pm ET

After a quiet day on Friday and coming up short in the Brad Richards sweepstakes, Toronto reportedly has added center Tim Connolly on a two-year deal worth $9.5 million, according to TSN. Connolly has had some major injuries (including concussion problems) earlier in his career, but he's been relatively healthy the past couple of seasons with Buffalo. He had 13 goals and 42 points in 69 games with the Sabres this past season after putting up a career-best 65 points in 2009-10.

--John Kreiser

'Canes add Anthony Stewart
7.2.11 3:00 pm ET

Carolina added to its depth up front by signing forward Anthony Stewart, brother of Blues forward Chris Stewart, to a two-year deal. He'll get $800,000 in 2011-12 and $1 million the following season.

It's a nice, relatively low-cost addition for GM Jim Rutherford, who lost power forward Erik Cole to Montreal on Friday. At 6-3 and 230 pounds, Stewart, 26, is a big guy who can get in on the forecheck; he also had career bests of 14 goals and 39 points for Atlanta (now Winnipeg) last season.

--John Kreiser

Richards' cap hit

7.2.11 12:07 pm ET

TSN's Darren Dreger reports the terms of Brad Richards' contract are nine years and $60 million, not $58.5 million as had been previously reported. That would bump the cap hit up from $6.5 million to $6.667 million. Still no official word from the Rangers on the deal, so stay tuned.

Gilroy to Lightning
7.2.11 11:51 am ET

The Tampa Bay Lightning have added some depth on defenseman by signing Matt Gilroy to a one-year contract. Gilroy spent the past two seasons with the New York Rangers.

Gilroy was a high-profile college free agent after going undrafted and then blossoming at Boston University. He won the Hobey Baker Award and a national title in his senior year with the Terriers, and the Rangers won the bidding war for his services.

He was a 24-year-old rookie, and turns 27 at the end of this month. Gilroy showed some promise early on with the Rangers, but is probably not going to more than a third-pairing guy for the Lightning. He could provide some decent offense as a No. 5/6 defenseman though.

Tampa Bay has an established top six on the blue line, but Gilroy and another recent addition, Bruno Gervais, give the Lightning depth and could challenge Marc-Andre Bergeron for regular playing time when everyone is healthy.

--Corey Masisak

Rob Niedermayer heading to Europe
7.2.11 11:49 am ET

As of Saturday morning, the NHL no longer has a Niedermayer brother playing for one of its teams. TSN's Darren Dreger reported that Rob Niedermayer, the brother of the retired Scott Niedermayer, is leaving the NHL to go play in Switzerland for HC Lugano, which plays in the Swiss National League A.

Rob Niedermayer, 36, spent last season in Buffalo, where he played in 71 games and piled up 19 points. He also had 4 points in seven playoff games.

He has been in the NHL since 1993-94 and has played for Florida, Calgary, Anaheim, New Jersey and Buffalo. Niedermayer, who won the Stanley Cup in 2007 while playing with Scott in Anaheim, has 469 points in 1,153 NHL games.

-- Dan Rosen

Report: Richards to NYR
7.2.11 11:05 am ET

TSN's Darren Dreger has reported Brad Richards agreed to a nine-year, $58.5 million contract with ... the New York Rangers. So the team that was thought to be the frontrunner all along ends up with the biggest catch of the NHL free agent bonanza.

Richards' reported deal will carry a $6.5 million cap hit (not bad for the Rangers considering some of the contracts signed yesterday). Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos reported the deal is front-loaded, and Richards will make $50 million in the first five years.

It would appear New York has found a legitimate No. 1 center, and someone to play with Marian Gaborik on the top line while Toronto and Calgary will continue their search for someone to pair with Phil Kessel and Jarome Iginla/Alex Tanguay.

--Corey Masisak

Welcome to Day Two
7.2.11 10:00 am ET

Despite the tremendous flurry of free agent activity yesterday, arguably the two best players in the Class of 2011 are still available. Center Brad Richards is the name at the top of the NHL free agent marquee, and he reportedly has whittled his list of potential destinations to four -- and is expected to make his decision today.

The New York Rangers have long been considered the frontrunner for Richards' services, but Los Angeles, Toronto and Calgary also made the cut. The Flames have his old GM (Jay Feaster) and maybe the best linemate (Jarome Iginla). The Kings have the best team right now. The Maple Leafs, well, they are the Maple Leafs, and Brian Burke cannot be counted out.

Goaltender Tomas Vokoun is in a much trickier spot. He was the top free agent goaltender available, but after one day of movement there are no definitive starting jobs available.

Colorado traded for Semyon Varlamov and, according to capgeek.com, signed him to a 3-year, $8 million contract. Florida signed Jose Theodore to pair with Scott Clemmensen until super-prospect Jakub Markstrom is ready. Phoenix signed Mike Smith. Tampa Bay re-signed Dwayne Roloson. Philadelphia traded for and signed Ilya Bryzgalov.

Those were the five teams who were without a clear-cut No. 1 goaltender. Now where does Vokoun land? He could be left in a similar position as Theodore last season -- waiting until someone gets hurt during training camp (and ending up with significantly less money than he probably expected).

There are plenty of other names still out there, especially big-name restricted free agents, but among the UFAs Richards and Vokoun are the headliners still available.

--Corey Masisak

Quote of the Day

Philadelphia is where I started my NHL career and this is where I want to be so I am really happy. This definitely gives me a lot of confidence by the Flyers showing that they have confidence in me. I know they want to see me get better as a player and this is the place to do it.

— Zac Rinaldo to the Flyers website on signing a two-year contract extension with Philadelphia